Asian markets plunge as nervous investors watch election results
Markets in Asia were trading lower Wednesday morning, as investors reacted to early results and predictions for the U.S. elections, which showed gains for Donald Trump in crucial states.
Stocks in Tokyo, Hong Kong and other major markets were down by more than 1 per cent as of mid-morning, after shares in Tokyo initially opened higher.
In some cases, early trading seesawed, tracking live election returns for battleground states like Florida.
“We’ve seen reactions to swings back and forth from Hillary to Donald,” Stephen Innes, a senior currency trader at Oanda in Singapore, said in a phone interview.
The Japanese yen and Mexican peso in particular were weakening significantly in Asian trading, he said, whenever live election results from Florida showed gains for Trump, the Republican nominee.
However, Innes added that overall volumes were light, suggesting that many investors were taking a waitand-see approach until results became clearer.
The mixed reaction on Wednesday followed a spell when investors around the world appeared to be on edge over the U.S. election. In recent weeks, in tune with what appeared to Trump’s improving fortunes, the markets took on a darker tone as retail investors pulled money out of equity funds and institutional players unloaded some of their riskier investments such as high-yield bonds.
A foreign exchange trader watches the election results in Tokyo.